As we all know, drinking water is extremely important to our health. It helps to balance the fluid in our bodies, gives fuel to our muscles, improves kidney function, helps prevent fatigue, and clears our skin… just to name a few benefits!
How do we know how we should be getting this water? Is it okay just from the tap, or should we all be focusing more on bottled water? How about a water filter? There are just too many options, so how do you know what’s right for you?
Tap water is readily available in every household, is free, and is put through rigorous testing before it reaches its destination, but it can also contain some harmful chemicals including chlorine, fluoride, and arsenic. Although there are regulations in place, the water quality varies from place to place, and every now and again human error allows things through the cracks.
The Centre of Disease Control (the CDC) has compiled a list of the most common tap water related illnesses, such as Legionella, Salmonella, and the Norovirus – if you suspect that you might have any of these, you need to consult a doctor immediately, and report it to your local water company to prevent anyone else getting sick.
The second option is bottled water – although it’s important to remember that this can actually just be tap water put into a bottle. You will need to do some research into each company to check that it isn’t. Whereas bottled water is easy to transport, monitored by the Food Standards Agency (which is shown by the label), and has less chemicals, it’s also bad for the environment. All that plastic getting thrown out is not good for the planet.
Dr. Mercola recommends filtered tap water as the way to go, as it offers the most economical and environmentally sound choice. This is because the water filter works to remove impurities in one of four ways:
- Activated carbon – this is the most common household type water filter, which uses active carbon filters to trap the waters most common impurities.
- Reverse osmosis – this system forces water through a very fine filter at pressure to ensure the contaminates can’t get through.
- Ion exchange – ions soften water by splitting atoms. This system works much more effectively than the activated carbon method.
- Distillation – this takes the water one step further than boiling. It boils the water, steams it, captures the steam and condenses it into a separate container.
The health benefits of drinking filtered water include better nutrient absorption, skin hydration, and detoxification. As the pros become more widely accepted, filtered water is becoming more regularly available in public, such as with the water cooler dispensers at Aquafil – which have been designed to counteract the cons of tap water, and the wastage that comes with bottled. The more people understand how much better filtered water is for us, this will only increase.